DJ Rekha is a producer, curator, and educator based in New York City. She is founder of Basement Bhangra™ and Bollywood Disco nights and co-founder of Mutiny Club night. She was named "Ambassador of Bhangra" by the New York Times.
Rekha and her frequent collaborator, Dave Sharma, performed their compositions at Chicago Symphony Hall for the Sinfonetta in 2015. Rekha was the sound designer for the TONY award-winning Broadway Show, Bridge and Tunnel, received a Drama Desk Award nomination for her work on the play Rafta Rafta, and is associate producer for the NPR Radio Documentary, A Feet in Two Worlds.
Her debut album, DJ Rekha presents Basement Bhangra, was released in 2007 and, in 2009, she was inducted into the NYC People's Hall of Fame. Her record label, Beat Bazaar Music, issued its debut single release, Pyar Baile, worldwide in November 2011. She has curated events for Celebrate Brooklyn, Central Park Summerstage, was a Grand Marshall of the 9th Annual NYC Dance Parade in 2015, and has performed internationally.
In anticipation of DJ Rekha's first outdoor show in front actual humans in a long time, they pick their likely selection of Punjabi tunes they want to road test. In the beyond segment, new tracks from Africa, the Caribbean as well as Columbia electro tropical royalty, Bomba Estéreo.
Mankirt Aulakh teams up with Gurlez Akhtar, plus a lot of throwbacks sprinkled in the first segment. In the beyond set, we hear new tunes from Arooj Aftab, electronic musician Renu, and India’s Dee MC.
Specialist and Tru-Skool have influenced many a bhangra producer, as evident in the DJ Frenzy’s track with Raf-Saperra. The beyond section features tracks for the compilation, Inquilab, which features music written, performed, composed and produced by South Asian women, trans, nonbinary and/or gender fluid sonic artists. From the Subcontinent to the diaspora across the globe, these artists span across genres and fields in the music industry: film scoring, spoken word, lo-fi, electronica, pop, vocals, carnatic fusion, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, sound design, EDM, etc.
The spring harvest festival of Vaisakhi coincides with the release of this episode of the show, and DJ Rekha digs up an RDB and somewhat dark ode to the day. Bup Saggu drops a new song with DJ Harpz and Manwal. In the beyond segment, DJ Rekha, recalls Mona Haydar’s Hijabi, as support against the French government banning the head covering, plus a new one from Khanvict.
In a bhangra world driven by voluminous single releases, Bally Sagoo and G. Sidhu release well thought out full-length albums. Never afraid to switch up her style, Jasmine Sandlas drops a hip-hop hybrid, dropping bars and verses in English and Punjabi. Plus, Brooklyn producer Ayesha, and some Afghani infused beats in the beyond segment.
Kulwinder Billa returns with a sequel to his hit Palazzo, cleverly named Palazzo 2. Jaz Dhami drops a new collab with urban desi crooner Sama Blake. The beyond segment revisits a song from Riz Ahmed’s breakup album, in celebration of his Oscar nomination.